Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2008 BMW 6 SERIES VS 2008 Mercedes CLS Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2008 Mercedes CLS

Safety Comparison

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the 6 Series helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The CLS Class doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The 6 Series’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The CLS Class doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the 6 Series and the CLS Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The 6 Series’ corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the CLS Class’ (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 6 Series for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CLS Class.

There are over 9 percent more BMW dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it easier to get service under the 6 Series’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

The M6’s standard 5.0 DOHC V10 produces 118 more horsepower (500 vs. 382) than the CLS550’s standard 5.5 DOHC V8.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 650i Auto gets better fuel mileage than the CLS550 (15 city/23 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 6 Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the CLS Class:

6 Series




Front Rotors

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

13 inches

14.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

11.8 inches

13 inches

The 6 Series’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the CLS550 are solid, not vented.

The 6 Series stops shorter than the CLS Class:

6 Series

CLS Class

80 to 0 MPH

196 feet

200 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 6 Series offers an available active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Mercedes doesn’t offer an active suspension on the CLS Class.

The 650i Coupe handles at .94 G’s, while the CLS550 pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 6 Series Convertible handles at .91 G’s, while the CLS550 pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 650i Coupe goes through Motor Trend’s slalom 4.9 MPH faster than the CLS550 (67.8 vs. 62.9 MPH).

The 6 Series Convertible goes through Motor Trend’s slalom 1.6 MPH faster than the CLS550 (64.5 vs. 62.9 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

The BMW 6 Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Mercedes CLS Class.

The 6 Series is 3.8 inches shorter than the CLS63, making the 6 Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The 6 Series Coupe has .7 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front hip room and .1 inches more front shoulder room than the CLS Class.

Ergonomics Comparison

The 6 Series offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and navigation instruction readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The CLS Class doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 6 Series’ standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The CLS Class’ available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Wireless connectivity is standard on the 6 Series, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Mercedes doesn’t offer wireless connectivity on the CLS Class.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The 6 Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the 6 Series will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the CLS Class.

6 Series

CLS Class

Four Year

48% to 49%

37% to 38%

Two Year



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